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Ed s’exprime à nouveau à propos de la FAC

Pour rappel, Ed avait décidé de prendre part à la réactions de quelques artistes anglais contre les contrats abusifs et obsolètes imposés par les maisons de disque et les sites de musique en ligne…C’est ainsi que la [FAC (Featured Artists’ Coalition->http://www.featuredartistscoalition.com/]) était née.

Il a donné à [reuters->http://www.reuters.com/article/musicNews/idUSTRE52R04A20090328?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0], quelques jours après le premier meeting de la FAC, une interview où il s’explique un peu plus :

{{
“Q: How did the FAC’s first meeting go?}}

Ed O’Brien: I was actually taken aback by how empowered people seemed to be — usually musicians tend to err toward the apathetic side. Everyone I spoke to said they found it really inspiring and they just wanted to get involved.

All we’re saying initially is that there are areas in the music industry that are monetized and a lot of these deals are under nondisclosure agreements, so there’s no transparency as to where the flow of money is going. And, of course, none of it is going into the hands of musicians and featured artists.

{{Q: Won’t it be difficult to achieve FAC’s aims if artists don’t own their master recordings?}}

O’Brien: It’s a no-brainer for featured artists to sign up, and if we get the majority of artists, I think that in itself is enough (for them) — whether it’s the record companies or the MySpaces of this world — just to take notice. After all, we are the one part of the industry that is absolutely indispensable. All we’re really after is a strong and fair industry, and it isn’t that at the moment. We know it’s in crisis.

{{Q: Record companies usually hold the copyright in recordings. Would you like to change that?}}

O’Brien: I’ve always found that anachronistic. Sure there may be investment, (labels) put money into it, but it does seem absolutely crazy to me and, I also think, immoral. That is obviously not a battle we’re going to fight first of all, but ultimately I would hope that in 10 or 15 years, or even earlier, the industry norm will be for young artists to be signing fair, clear agreements where they own their copyrights and they’ve licensed them out rather than signing them away.
{{
Q: Are you hoping to educate artists on their rights and copyright?}}

O’Brien: That’s a huge part of it. People like myself and our band, we do all right. But there are a lot of bands making music and not making any money from it and not knowing what to do. One thing we’d like to have is a guild, (offering guidance on why) this is a good Web site, this is a good way to distribute the music, here is an example of a fair and clear contract. It would be great to have that kind of help for young bands.

{{Q: You spent more than a decade as a major-label act with EMI. What’s it like now that you control your recordings?}}

O’Brien: We’re lucky in a sense that we’ve got two of our crew from EMI who freelance for us. The great thing about EMI was Parlophone — we worked with such great people. The downside of it is the business mechanism and this great big kind of audit … all that bulls–t, when legal affairs, the business side of it gets involved.

As regards to being on your own, it’s empowering. When you release a record as an artist with a major, you’ve got to get your slot. But you’re looking at a minimum of three months (after) you’ve finished your record (before its) release. When you do it yourself, you can literally finish the mastering and have it out there digitally.

The trouble is that the music industry has become companies (that are) answerable to shareholders and have to pay dividends, that have to have greater and greater profits — and in doing that it’s become all about money. I don’t think the music industry in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s was (like that); there was still a lot of creativity. Sure, people were making money, but I think the suits have come in and you’ve got people running record companies who aren’t music-led. It’s taken all the fun out of it. When you do it yourself, you put the fun back into it, and when it’s fun, it’s creative. You cannot be truly creative if you’re shackled by profit and loss and balance accounts and all that nonsense.
{{
Q: Isn’t the independent route tougher than having a major handling your affairs globally?}}

O’Brien: It’s not that hard, because you get in people that you want to work with. You get people in who are effective, who you trust, who you like and you make very quick decisions. You’re not worrying about who you’re offending, you’re being very straight. There aren’t any agendas.

We spent nearly three years recording “In Rainbows” and we were tired. Potentially we were looking at (what) could have been the band’s last album. But by the time we released it, it fired us up again and it got us working creatively.

It’s really interesting when you remove that economic framework of the traditional six-album deal and all that entails. It’s amazing how liberating that can be. Certainly, at first the record company deal is what you dream about. But if I’m honest, the last two or three albums it was becoming a drag, because what we wanted to try and do was not fitting the format.

{{Q: Could you successfully adopt your current approach if you were a new, young band now?}}

O’Brien: I’d be inclined to say it’s definitely not a model for new artists, but then again look at what the Arctic Monkeys did (before) their first album. They had all their tracks in demo form on their MySpace site. It probably wouldn’t have worked with us, because for it to really work like that I guess it has to be pretty obvious from the beginning. We were such slow-burners initially.

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